Skill games to be regulated by Ohio Casino Control Commission

Games of skill, from claw machines that nab prizes to arcade games that issue tokens or tickets, will now be licensed and regulated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

The commission, which was given oversight of the games by state law in 2015, has developed rules and license fees, which are expected to go into effect by the end of April.

The staff spent most of a year learning about the industry, commission spokeswoman Jessica Franks said.

"We tried to work with the industry and various stakeholders," she said. "Our goal is to make it easy to identify the people doing this legitimately and make it easy to weed out and shut down the illegal slot machines."

The commission has many ongoing investigations into illegal casinos, she said.

"We had to craft these rules so we weed out all the illegal activity," she said.

Unlike other states, Ohio's law requires that the opportunity to win a prize in amusement games must be based on the skill of the player rather than a chance event, Franks said.

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